How to Donate to an International Disaster

Cheryl Cirelli
Japanese boy

When a disaster as devastating as the one that Japan experienced in March of 2011 happens, many people decide to make a donation to a reputable charity that will assist in helping the victims regain their lives and rebuild their community. No matter where the disaster occurs, there are many charities that are working hard to help other countries dealing with a major catastrophe. Which one will you support?

How To Help

When other country's experience disasters, the United States is often one of the first to help. During a crisis, the people of other countries are relying on outside help to rebuild their loss and find relief.

The following are organizations that are assisting with international disasters:

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is often one of the first organizations to respond when there is a crisis. The Red Cross will usually set up a special fund to support their efforts to help those affected by a specific crisis.

There are several ways to donate to the Red Cross:

  • Text "Redcross" to 9099 from your cell phone to make a $10 donation that will be charged to your next bill.
  • Visit the donation section on the American Red Cross website to donate. The minimum donation amount is $10.
  • Contact your local branch and see where help is needed most.
  • Call 1-800-REDCROSS and make a donation over the phone.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army provides emergency assistance to those in need. The organization will also set up a relief fund to assist those affected by a specific disaster. Donations will help support teams that have been sent overseas to bring basic needs to those who have survived and are in need of aid. Teams also assess damage to determine what the next steps in their efforts will be.

To make a donation to The Salvation Army, you can do one of the following:

  • Text either "Japan" or "Quake" to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
  • Contact your local chapter and ask where help is most needed.

Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps along with a partner organization, Peace Winds, works to assist individuals overseas. Their efforts include delivering supplies such as shelters, blankets, tents and food. They also organize a Comfort for Kids program that helps children recover emotionally from the effects of a disaster.

To make a donation, visit Mercy Corps' website or call 1-888- 256-1900.

Save the Children

Save the Children has been set up to assist those affected by a disaster. The organization focuses on the welfare of children and has set up safe areas for children to play and experience a normal environment. Save the Children also distributes blankets, towels, diapers and other goods to those who have experienced devastation. The organization's efforts are funded by donations from people around the world.

To donate, visit their site online or call 1-800-728-3843.

Japan headline

Note of Caution

Unfortunately when people are most vulnerable, scammers try to profit off of tragedy. When making a donation to assist in the relief for those affected by specific crisis, always make sure that the charity is legitimate. There are several ways to check out a charity. You can contact the Better Business Bureau or visit a site such as Charity Navigator.org to verify that an organization is legitimate.

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How to Donate to an International Disaster